Several recent neuroimaging studies have investigated the brain systems involved in the control of voluntary orienting of selective visual attention by measuring the cortical response to attention-directing cues. Although these studies have provided strong evidence for frontal and parietal involvement in attentional control, it has proven difficult to unambiguously isolate attentional orienting responses from other cognitive operations evoked by the cue. This chapter presents a meta-analysis of a series of voluntary orienting studies from a laboratory. Across the studies, the only common mental operation is attentional orienting. It was predicted that if regions of frontal and parietal cortex sub-serve top-down control of voluntary orienting specifically, then, the overlap among all studies should be observed. Consistent with this prediction, focal areas of superior frontal sulcus and intraparietal sulcus of both hemispheres were activated across all studies. It is suggested that these sub-regions are critical players in the top-down control of attentional orienting.
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